You're lying on the couch in your living room, in one of your husband's old t-shirts and a pair of baggie sweatpants, watching last night's taped episode of Desperate Housewives, when suddenly - the phone rings. You don't recognize the number on caller ID and you make the mistake of answering it. It's your long lost best friend from the sixth grade. She's in town and she just happens to be in your neighborhood. She'll be over in 10 minutes, and your house is a MESS.
So, how do you clean up for unexpected guests in 10 minutes or less?!
1. Stay calm!
2. Do a clean sweep. Grab a trash bag or laundry basket and gather up everything that is lying around that shouldn't be, and throw it into the bag. Hide the bag.
3. Plump up pillows on couches and chairs in living room, fold blankets. Give each cushion a swat for crumbs.
4. Stack mail, newspapers and magazines in a nice, neat pile. Stick the pile in a corner or on a kitchen chair.
5. Give the bathroom a speedy sprucing up! Wipe out the sink, wipe off the toilet seat and quickly swish the bowl. Then, close the shower curtain, and throw odds and ends in cabinets or drawers. Spray some air freshener so the bathroom will smell clean - even if it's far from it.
6. Rinse off any dishes in the sink and stack them neatly or toss them in the dishwasher. Wipe off the table and counter tops.
7. Take a peek inside the fridge - what beverages and snacks do you have that you can offer your guests?
8. Close the doors to all rooms that you don't want on display.
9. Light a yummy scented candle in the kitchen - like Cinnamon Buns or Chocolate Cake. Lighting a few scented candles will uplift the mood of your home and make guests feel welcome. Throw some fruit in a bowl and place it in the center of your table. Fresh flowers also do wonders, if you have them on hand.
10. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a squirt of perfume and you're all set! You may even have enough time to get changed into something a little more presentable.
Cleaning up for unexpected guests does not have to be a mad rush, if you stay caught up on your housework as a rule. A friend of mine gave me some really good advice right after my husband and I got married, she said "The best way to keep a clean house is to entertain in your home at least once a month." There's nothing like having company coming to get cleaning!
About the author:
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